Over 60 babies were welcomed into the local community on Friday 10 August at Michelle Rowland’s ‘Welcoming the Babies’ ceremony at Blacktown Leisure Centre, Stanhope.

The event was also attended by the Mayor of Blacktown, Stephen Bali MP.

Families who joined the event received a ‘Welcoming the Babies’ certificate, professional photo and a shrub to plant in their home gardens to celebrate the occasion. Blacktown Council kindly provided plants for each local family to plant in their home gardens.

The event also included face painting and balloon animals, along with stalls and information from local organisations, including Stanhope Village, The Children’s Doctor, Tresillian, Blacktown City Libraries, Blacktown Key Venues, Blacktown Women’s and Girls’ Health Centre, the Department of Human Services, Kinder Share, Playgroups NSW and the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

“‘Welcoming the Babies’ brought together local families to celebrate the joy of our new arrivals,” Michelle Rowland MP said.

“Thank you to the wonderful local organisations who contributed to making ‘Welcoming the Babies’ such a great event for parents and families.

“This is the 5th ceremony I have held and it keeps getting bigger. It was a terrific morning for local families, celebrating the newborns in our community. 

“Local citizenship ceremonies are regularly held to welcome new residents who become Australians by choice. ‘Welcoming the Babies’ is a way to welcome those who are Australian by birth in a unique civic ceremony,” Ms Rowland said.